Home TRAVEL A cheese-lover’s dream awaits in Québec’s charming towns

A cheese-lover’s dream awaits in Québec’s charming towns

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Photo credit: Jean-François Frenette / Bonjour Québec

From spiced curds to smoked blue and organic aged cheddars, there’s a cheese to suit every fromage-fanatic’s palate along Les Têtes Fromagères (“Cheese Heads”) circuit in Québec’s Eastern Townships. Fourteen fromageries from Farnham to Lac-Mégantic provide ample choice to sample some of the finest in Québécois cheese.

  • Saint-Benoît-du-Lac Abbey: The Saint-Benoît-du-Lac Abbey is a remarkable example of 20th-century architecture that rises over the countryside of Lake Memphremagog. A home of Benedictine monks, the abbey warmly welcomes visitors to tour the grounds and learn more about the monastic way of life. The on-site fromagerie has been crafting cheese since 1943, beginning with its flagship Fromage Ermite, the first blue cheese made in Québec. Today, the abbey not only offers 12 artisanal cheeses, but also freshly made ciders, spreads and compotes from its own apple orchards.
  • Fromagerie La Station: Nestled in the municipality of Compton lies Fromagerie La Station, with spectacular views of the Appalachian mountains, including Mont Orford. This 400-acre organic, family-owned farm utilizes raw milk from its free-range cows to produce its Fondue de Compton and five different types of rind cheeses carrying fruit, floral, sweet and nutty aromas. The farm is also home to thousands of maple trees, tapped to produce organic maple products available for sale.
  • Fromagerie Missiska: In the town of Bedford, Fromagerie Missiska is famous for its creamy cheeses, like its Jersey Royal, and other products made from the milk of its own herd of jersey cows – a small dairy cattle breed. Touted as “one of the best herds of jersey cows in Québec,” the cows here are optimally bred, treated with great care and fed farm-grown hay and premium food, resulting in high quality milk and milk products. For wine enthusiasts, Fromagerie Missiska is also the only fromagerie located on the Brome-Missisquoi Wine Route.

Although the Eastern Townships is a great region for sampling cheese, it’s not the only option.

  • Fromagerie du Presbytère (Centre-du-Québec): Fromagerie du Presbytère in Sainte-Élizabeth-de-Warwick is a popular cheese destination located in a former church. The family behind Louis D’or farm acquired the 1936 heritage church and presbytery across the street nearly two decades ago to venture into the cheese industry. The fromagerie produces 12 distinct soft and firm cheeses from their own farm-produced milk, and hosts outdoor summer events every Friday.
  • Musée La Vieille Fromagerie Perron (Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean): Musée de la Vielle Fromagerie Perron is housed in an 1895 heritage building in Saint-Prime that formerly operated as a cheese factory. Today, the museum offers exhibitions and interactive bread and butter-making workshops, and recently opened its brand new terrace for patrons to sip cold beverages and enjoy cheese platters throughout the summer.
  • Les Fromages de l’isle d’Orléans (l’isle d’Orléans): Les Fromages de l’isle d’Orléans, the first fromagerie on Île d’Orléans, offers a unique historical cheese experience. The restored hotel is home to the revival of paillasson, the oldest style of cheese in North America, which is eaten hot after being browned on the grill. Visitors to the fromagerie are greeted by friendly staff dressed in 17th-century clothing, reflecting the period when paillasson was first produced on the island.

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